John chapter 3 gives us the story of Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and tried to butter up Jesus by proclaiming that he believed that Jesus is a teacher sent from God because of His miracles. Jesus, not concerned with what Nicodemus thought about Him, told Nicodemus a very pointed statement, “Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Now, this took Nicodemus off guard so he asked Jesus “How can a man be born when he is old?” Jesus let him know that there are two births that a person needs to enter into Heaven, a water birth and a spiritual birth! We all have had that first birth of coming forth out of the water of the womb but have you had that spiritual birth? Maybe you like Nicodemus do not understand how one is born again. Some have been taught that their church membership, baptism, good works, or someone’s prayers will get them into Heaven. The Bible is very clear on how to enter Heaven and it is NOT by any of these means. Titus 3:5-7 tells us “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” There is not one thing that we can do that will get us to Heaven! Isaiah 64:6 says “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” The Bible declares that God is a thrice holy God (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8) and there is not one thing we can do to appease Him, BUT God loves us so much that John 3:16 tells us “that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is the spiritual second birth. God also explains how to believe in Jesus. You see, many believe in Jesus and yet, are on their way to hell. The Apostle James said in James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” It is not only believing in God but it is in repenting to that God! Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5) The Apostle Peter said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…” (Acts 3:19)
You might be saying, “Well, I’ll make it my way.” Who do you think God will listen to when it comes time to get into Heaven? Some man telling Him about his good works or His son Jesus who shed His blood for you? Jesus says, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) I don’t think God would have sent His son to die the cruel death of the cross if He was going to listen to our good works.